What to Know
- April the Giraffe captivated millions around the world as they waited and watched for months in anticipation of the birth of her 4th calf
- She did that on April 15, 2017, and more than a million people tuned in to watch the delivery live
- Though Tajiri was April's fourth calf, it was the first for April's handsome but younger mate Oliver
April the Giraffe, the long-necked, spotted beauty from New York's Animal Adventure Park who captivated the globe for months as she prepared for the birth of her fourth calf last year, is pregnant again.
The upstate zoo she calls home made the announcement live on the "Today" show Wednesday morning. And yes, Oliver is the father.
"The results are in and we are having a baby," Animal Adventure Park owner Jordan Patch said.
And now the waiting begins. Patch says she's expected to give birth to her fifth calf next March or April -- but we all know how that goes.
Giraffe pregnancies usually last about 15 months, but Patch said, "April likes to go 16, 17, 18, 19 ..." -- you remember. The last time she was pregnant, it seemed to take so long for her to go into labor that some fans started to question whether in fact she was with calf at all. She was, indeed.
Her newest calf, Tajiri, celebrated his first birthday in April, and nearly 50,000 people tuned into a livestream to watch him celebrate.
Tajiri — Swahili for "hope" — and his mom April were catapulted into the upper echelon of the viral animal world when the zoo started livestreaming April's fourth pregnancy in February 2017.
After months of waiting, April gave birth April 15 in Harpursville, New York, while an audience of hundreds of thousands watched live online. The baby was born at just under 130 pounds and more than 5 feet tall.
April teased her millions of global adorers for weeks, showing signs of near-but-not-quite labor and otherwise enchanting her audience with cute right-at-the-camera gazes and tongue flicks, snack noshing and nuzzling with her much younger but handsome beau, Oliver. Tajiri was Oliver's first baby.
April's pregnancy was vaulted into global headlines in late February 2017 after YouTube briefly yanked the zoo's live stream following complaints by animal activists that it violated the site's policies concerning "nudity and sexual content." Thousands upon thousands of commenters voiced their frustration on Facebook and YouTube, and the stream was restored within an hour or so.
Patch said at the time that the natural curiosity surrounding giraffes and their birthing process was a huge factor in drawing crowds.
"I think the fact that she's a giraffe and she's a neat species that people are interested in, that's fostered a lot of the attention," he said. "The fact that you'll get to witness the miracle of birth from an animal that you really don't get to see give birth — that's neat."
He added that April's pregnancy was more than just live entertainment, but a teachable moment and source for education.